One of the favorite days on the HBD calendar just came and went – ML debut day. Seasoned owners know that after day 20 of the minor league season, prospects can be promoted to the major league level for their regular season debut while still preserving an extra season of minimum salary and player control. So just as one might see protestors at a Donald Trump rally, one will see players being promoted right after day 20 – and this year was no exception. This year, call up day was June 13 at 11AM EST, and this blog post examines the promising rookies called up that day and thereafter, including a few that might make a run at rookie of the year hardware.
Neifi Flores (TB; 1B/LF): Flores was one of three players called up by veteran owner zeustis on call-up day. Signed to a healthy $14 million international signing bonus two seasons ago, the thunderstick against righty pitching OPSd over 1.000 in 565 minor league at bats and can provide similar power at the major league level – if he gets some playing time. ML Projection: Franklin Stubbs
Ben Sample (TB; 3B): The former 9th overall pick 4 seasons ago and subsequently acquired in a trade, Sample stepped right into the Bad Romance lineup as the everyday 3B – with good reason. Sample OPSd over 1.100 in 1240 minor league at bats and holds his own with the glove in the field. Although Sample is prone to strike out, this is a guy who you can plug in the 5th hole in the order and pencil in at least 90 RBIs every season. ML Projection: Scott Rolen
Derrick Magee (TB; LF): The last of the three call-ups by zeustis, Magee is a former no. 2 overall pick of the Bad Romance. He can beat you with his legs and with his bat and has 30-30 potential over a full season. Magee has one of the best batting eyes in the game and will be a tough out at the top of the lineup. ML Projection: Bobby Abreu
Rico Santiago (ANA; SP) Santiago will attempt to justify his substantial $18 million signing bonus when he takes the hill every 5 days for the Stars. This Dominican righty relies on a plus slider and plus-plus command to baffle righties. While he won’t blow you away with his velocity, he should be a regular part of the Stars’ rotation for years to come. ML Projection: Shane Reynolds
Tripp Paul (SCR; 1B) Drafted as the no. 32 overall pick in season 34, Paul came to the Bidens last season and rose quickly through the ranks thanks to his power at the plate. He OPSd around .950 in almost 1,500 minor league at bats and should be able to stick as, at minimum, a platoon option against lefties. ML Projection: Glenn Davis